Vat­i­can urges Catholics to drop in­vest­ments in fos­sil fu­els and arms

Calgary Herald - - CITY+REGION - PHILIP PULLELLA

VAT­I­CAN CITY The Vat­i­can urged Catholics on Thurs­day to dis­in­vest from the ar­ma­ments and fos­sil fuel in­dus­tries, and to closely mon­i­tor com­pa­nies in sec­tors such as min­ing to check if they are dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

The calls were con­tained in a 225-page man­ual for church lead­ers and work­ers to mark the fifth an­niver­sary of Pope Fran­cis’ land­mark en­cycli­cal “Laudato Si” (Praised Be) on the need to pro­tect na­ture, life and de­fence­less peo­ple.

The com­pen­dium sug­gests prac­ti­cal steps to achieve the goals of the en­cycli­cal, which strongly sup­ported agree­ments to con­tain global warm­ing and warned against the dan­gers of cli­mate change.

The man­ual’s sec­tion on fi­nance said peo­ple could favour “pos­i­tive changes … by ex­clud­ing from their in­vest­ments com­pa­nies that do not sat­isfy cer­tain pa­ram­e­ters.” It listed these as re­spect for hu­man rights, bans on child labour and pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment.

Called Jour­ney­ing To­wards Care For Our Com­mon Home, one ac­tion point called on Catholics to “shun com­pa­nies that are harm­ful to hu­man or so­cial ecol­ogy, such as abor­tion and ar­ma­ments, and to the en­vi­ron­ment, such as fos­sil fu­els.”

An­other sec­tion called for the “strin­gent mon­i­tor­ing” of ex­trac­tion in­dus­tries in ar­eas with frag­ile ecosys­tems to pre­vent air, soil and wa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion.

Last month, more than 40 faith or­ga­ni­za­tions from around the world, more than half of them Catholic, pledged to di­vest from fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies.

The Vat­i­can bank has said it does not in­vest in fos­sil fu­els and many

Catholic dio­ce­ses and ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions around the world have taken sim­i­lar po­si­tions.

The doc­u­ment urges Catholics to de­fend the rights of lo­cal pop­u­la­tions to have a say in whether their lands can be used for oil or min­eral ex­trac­tion, and the right to take strong stands against com­pa­nies that cause en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ters or over-ex­ploit nat­u­ral re­sources such as forests.

VAT­I­CAN ME­DIA/VIA REUTERS

A man­ual mark­ing the fifth an­niver­sary of Pope Fran­cis’ land­mark en­cycli­cal sug­gests peo­ple should ex­clude “from their in­vest­ments com­pa­nies that do not sat­isfy cer­tain pa­ram­e­ters.”

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